201: Learning experiencesPosted: April 12, 2011
M and I have been talking about taking a walking tour vacation. Someday. We’ve done a little research and thought about different places. Places we’ve considered include (but are not limited to) the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in the U.K., and Nova Scotia in Canada. (Note: I’ve provided links to give you an idea of what I’m going on about, not as a recommendation for any particular tour. I googled, these came up, and I picked them as examples. We haven’t gone so far as to pick a touring company.)
Our 5.1 mile hike on Sunday taught me a valuable lesson. I am not in the kind of shape I need to be in to take a walking tour type of vacation. 5.1 miles was pretty much my limit for the day, and you need to be able to walk anywhere from 8-12 miles per day according to some of the tour packages I’ve looked at.
That said, I’m not in bad shape, per se. I was able to walk the 5.1 miles. I just didn’t do anything else for the rest of the day because all I could do was collapse in exhaustion. I did not attempt it but I don’t believe I would have been able to walk another 5.1 miles (or more) the following day (yesterday).
To dream about taking a walking tour is one thing. To actually do it will require planning and setting goals. One of those goals is to get myself in shape and capable of walking 8-12 miles a day.
So, one step at a time, one foot in front of the other, I am going to work on building up my mileage. Now that the weather is warming up to some degree (hey, it’s not below freezing or snowing), I should be able to get outside and explore the area where I live. The block I live on is a country block, meaning it’s a BIG block. A 5-mile loop. That’s a good start. From there I can venture off on other back country roads, past farms with cows, horses, and fields of crops stretched out for as far as the eye can see.
I will be taking a walking tour of my own backyard, so to speak. Branching out to explore beyond the small area I’ve been covering on my walks. I think it will be fun, for the most part, and I will get to learn a bit more about where I live by not speeding by everything in a car.
Now all I have to do is decide between my hiking boots and my Vibrams. I’m thinking the Vibrams would be ideal for walking around here, but I do need to break in those boots a little better. Alternating might be the way to go.
I did not get off to a great start today, having gone only a little over 3 miles. It’s raining and in the 40’s, not a good combination. I got chilled and decided that even though it isn’t a great start, it’s a start. And there is something to be said for that.
It wasn’t just the gray, gloomy, chilly weather that drove me back inside. I sometimes wonder if I’m cut out for exploring the great outdoors. There are days when I’m too… soft. I’m not sure that’s the word I want, but I can’t come up with anything better at the moment.
At lunch today I saw the doves cuddled up near the bird feeder, and wondered why one of them wasn’t back at the nest. Well, on my walk today I decided to stop by and check on the Mama Dove. The nest was gone from the tree. I looked at the ground and found it there, shredded to pieces. On the other side of the tree I found the babies.
There was no movement at all. I’m fairly certain they are dead. I realize this is part of nature and the circle of life and all that. It’s a bit of an emotional day for me anyhow (having begun the day with an oddly emotional yoga and meditation practice). I cried for a little while, sad that the babies didn’t make it.
Ah well. The doves are probably already building a new nest and starting over.
Life goes on.